Woodland Tulip Plants – How To Grow Woodland Tulips In The Garden

Yellow Woodland Tulips
woodland tulip
(Image credit: Mantonature)

Replacing your hybrid tulips every few years may seem a small price to pay for their bright spring flowers. Many gardeners are happy to find woodland tulip plants (Tulipa sylvestris) though, a type of tulip that naturalizes readily in appropriate sites. What are woodland tulips? These are 16th century heirloom plants with bright yellow flowers perfect for wildflower meadows as well as garden beds. For information about growing woodland tulips, including tips on woodland tulip care, read on.

What are Woodland Tulips?

There are so many tulip varieties out there in a rainbow range of colors that it’s possible you’ve never heard of woodland tulips. They are an old variety of bulb flower with brilliant butter-colored flowers that make themselves right at home in your garden. Woodland tulip plants begin as bulbs, just like other tulips. However, these are wildflower tulips with distinctive yellow, lemon-scented flowers. The petals are pointed and the flowers look like stars. Those growing woodland tulips say that the stalks emerge in early spring and get to be about 14 inches (35 cm.) tall. Woodland tulip plants multiply easily and return year after year to your backyard.

How to Grow Woodland Tulips

Growing woodland tulips doesn’t require much gardening skill or know-how. They are easy to plant and grow without much trouble in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 8. As you might guess, woodland tulips need a sunny location to produce their fragrant flowers. A south or west-facing sheltered exposure is ideal. These flowers are perennials and tend to return year after year. Each stem can produce many nodding buds. They work well in beds and borders, slopes and edging, and even in containers on the patio. To start growing woodland tulips, plant the bulbs in fall and expect blossoms in the beginning of spring. Woodland tulip care could not be easier as long as you provide soil with excellent drainage. It pays to amend the soil with sand or gravel to be sure the water drains through quickly. Plant the bulbs a couple of inches (5 cm.) deep. The biggest part of woodland tulip care is providing water, and even this isn’t too hard. They require moderate irrigation, but like to get dry between waterings.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.